Dervish ‘Abdullah and the Philosopher’s Stone

Dervish ‘Abdullah took a short walk with a certain turning point in view. But despite the intended goal of his walk, he accidentally took another route. When realizing that, he thought of returning but then decided that he could reach the turning point by using the path taken. His revised walk took him through a relatively unknown part of his village. This is why he noticed that people had attached a case of books at eye height next to the gate of their garden, intending that books could be taken away freely by anyone interested in them. One of these books contained the title The Philosopher’s Stone. The Sufis call this ‘stone’ the Perplexing Jewel, so he considered taking the book. Dervish ‘Abdullah decided against it…

The Fruits of Heaven and Earth

Thratara, a young woman, approached the dervish ‘Abdullah and sought his interpretation of a dream that had intrigued her. This is what she recounted when ‘Abdullah kindly received her: “In my dream, I met an old woman seated beside a fruit tree. Astonishingly, she declared that her name bore a close resemblance to mine. Instead of telling her name, the old woman uttered, ‘Consult dervish ‘Abdullah to unravel the significance of this fruit-laden tree.’”  Dervish ‘Abdullah requested Thratara, “If you wouldn’t mind, then, please share more details about the tree. What was its hue?” Thratara responded to dervish ‘Abdullah’s question with much enthusiasm. “Its colour was distinct from monotonous shades of grey while lacking the stark duality of black and…

Sufi Healing

Before becoming a resident in a Sufi khanegah, dervish ‘Abdullah lived the life of a traveling dervish. He, for instance, worked for seven years in Rome as a provider of care to the elderly. This work was somewhat frustrating as it was difficult for him to adjust to the demands of the Italian culture. The elderly Mrs. Corrado was quite demanding. She didn’t like to be dependent on others. That’s why she insisted to be of service to her caretaker. She decided to teach Italian to dervish ‘Abdullah. Dervish ‘Abdullah, however, found it difficult to memorize the Italian words as taught by Mrs. Corrado. He talked about this situation with Maria Martinelli, who was the caretaker of Mrs. Elsas. Maria…

Meeting the Dervish

I only long to meet a true friend of God.And wish to reach the presence of this friend.From grief, my heart won’t openWithout seeing the face of the friend. Many people wanted to meet dervish ‘Abdullah, because he was said to be one of the friends of God. Few people, however, took the trouble to actually go and meet him. Why? The dervish lived near the top of a steep mountain in a Sufi khanegah. Climbing this mountain was difficult. Salik was determined to meet dervish ‘Abdullah. After seven hours he reached the khanegah and knocked on its door. When the door was opened, Salik saw a small, nondescript man appear who asked him: “Yes?”“I have come to see dervish…

The Mystery of Khwaja Khidr

سر طلب كردن موسى خضر را علیهما السلام با كمال نبوت و قربت The mystery of the prophet Moses seeking Khwaja Khidr [peace be upon them], notwithstanding his perfection as a prophet and as one near unto God [Mawlana Rumi: Masnawi, book 3] What is this mystery of Khwaja Khidr? What is the meaning of the quest for Khidr? Why do all kinds of people wish to meet Khidr? The answer to the final question is different depending on the level of preparedness [isti’dad] of these seekers. The level of Moses is that of a wali, a nabi and a rasul. What could be the use of a meeting with Khwaja Khidr be for someone who is a friend of…

The Word of the Weaver

The Weaver is sitting on top of the highest mountain under a tree that is as old as the mountain itself and is weaving. The Weaver is continuously occupied in weaving creation and gives it substance, quantity, quality, action, passion, relation, position, habit, place and time. The Weaver is able to see all that is taking place and hears the voices of all times. He is whispering but doesn’t move his lips. Which word does he whisper? Which word makes the dumb one speak, makes the deaf one hear, and makes the blind one see? The Weaver whispers the word that starts life on earth, the word that determines your fate, the word that makes you fall in love, the…

The Thief Who Became a Sufi Master

A true teacher takes what you do not have and gives you what is always yours. This is why the sage does his work and slips away unperceived. Real masters are like thieves: Only the ones caught are known. The best remain hidden. Yet their blessed presence though unrecognized continuously sustains the world often behind a most mundane appearance. Yosy Flug: The Illuminated Donkey – Book of Secrets; pp. 52-3 Salik wanted to meet a spiritual guide, but where to find one? It was difficult to find a murshid. Salik searched for a very long time without finding a Sufi Master who possessed all the qualities Salik thought to be necessary. That’s why Salik needed to change his method of…

Dervish ‘Abdullah meditating in a hammock

Dervish ‘Abdullah lay lazily in a hammock under a flowery ceiling of beautiful white wisteria above him. Enjoying the sun, he marveled at the beauty of the flowers. He was grateful for their beauty. Then he realized that maybe the flowers weren’t there just to be looked at and admired by him. This thought came into him, because he became aware of subtle movements above him. He shook his head and broke free from the pleasant hypnosis of the flowery beauty. He looked deeper, more attentively at the many flowers. Suddenly he saw a bee emerge from one flower and fly to another flower. And another bee, and another bee. The dervish saw many bees flying, buzzing, among the flowers….

Dervish ‘Abdullah meditating near the river

Dervish ‘Abdullah is sitting in meditation by the banks of the Ganges river. He reads it like a book that tells him of the river’s nature, its hidden depths, its movements… He observes a log floating in the stream, lines and circles in the water, as well as a certain colour of the sun reflected in the Ganges. The dervish watches the leaves: some are floating placidly along and make no effort to resist the current. They are taken towards the Ocean. Other leaves are throwing themselves wildly in the turmoil and get ultimately thrown against the banks and remain there, rotting in the sun. Dervish ‘Abdullah says: “The people with inward peace don’t resist the nature of the river….

The whole picture

Abu Talib visited the garden of the Baghban tariqa. The shaykh asked him to count the number of rose bushes. When viewing the garden from the gate, Abu Talib could see eleven rose bushes. When moving away from the gate he suddenly discovered a rose bush not seen before, but having moved Abu Talib lost sight of one other rose bush. No matter how he moved, he always could see only eleven out of the twelve rose bushes in the garden. He learned through moving that the whole picture could not be seen from any one of his viewpoints.